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Steve McPherson

Steve McPherson has had almost a life-long love affair with Hampton and Richmond Borough Football Club - an affair that culminated with him taking on the role of club chairman for more than nine years.
And it was with a degree of sadness that he finally decided to step down from that post earlier this year.
Steve was born close to Hampton Court and first became involved with the club - known as The Beavers - back in the 1980s when he joined their youth set-up.
He eventually graduated to the first time and played a good number of games in midfield before leaving to concentrate on his business interests.
But even after his playing days were over, Steve had a deep desire to put something back into Hampton and that opportunity arose through a chance approach from the club some years later.
Steve recalls, "when I was asked if my company would like to sponsor a match and I quickly said yes. I went along to the game, got chatting with a few people, ended up sponsoring another game and then eventually was invited to join the board as a director. I jumped at the chance because it was always something I'd wanted to do."
Steve received a lot of help and support, both from the existing members of the board and from a couple of friends who he invited to get involved with him and he was eventually asked to become chairman of the club in 2008.
Steve, is proud of several of the achievements of Hampton during his tenure as chairman, particularly of the way in which he helped to develop the community side of the football club.
He said: "I think it's been really important to ensure that all the youth and community sides linked to the club come under the banner of Hampton and Richmond Borough.
"Whether they are playing in Hampton or at Bushy Park, all the youngsters wear the Hampton strip which helps to build awareness of the club and hopefully to bring more people in through the turnstiles."
Steve believes the profile of the club has risen significantly in recent years.
He said: "There was a time when we were the poor relations in the borough with so many other big name teams and organisations on our doorstep - people like Harlequins, Brentford, Fulham, Twickenham Rugby Ground etc."
"Now, I'd like to think that we are the senior non-league club in Middlesex - we've increased our average attendances by between 10 and 20 percent in recent years and that's partly down to the success we've had on the pitch."
Steve is also proud of his decision to appoint current manager Alan Dowson to the post a couple of years ago.
"I'd known Alan for a while," he said, "and I knew him to be a hard-working guy who knew a lot about non-league football and who could steer us in the right direction. He was also a local lad - from Walton - and although we had between 30 and 40 applicants for the job, I didn't hesitate to offer it to him."
Steve McPherson says he ran Hampton in a similar way to how he runs his business - but with his 'football head' on.
"We've always tried to live within our means from a financial viewpoint and like most non-league clubs we've had our ups and downs in that area but I've left them on a pretty firm financial footing," he said.
And the reputation of the club under Steve's leadership was enhanced recently on the sale of two Hampton players to League One Portsmouth - showing that it is the kind of club that can actually help players to realise their ambition of playing at the elite levels of English football.
We wondered what he would remember most fondly from his time as chairman and without hesitation he said: "Winning promotion back to the Conference South from the Ryman Premier League - that was a great feeling to know that we'd taken the club back to where it should be."
He also believes that the lovely ground at Beveree creates a great atmosphere for football fans. "There's not much to match the place on a Tuesday night under the floodlights," he says.
Steve, who stepped down from his role in May, was the longest-serving chairman in the club's history. He has bought a property in Ireland, where his wife, Grainne, comes from and is in the process of refurbishing it so he will be splitting his time between England and the Emerald Isle for the foreseeable future.
But Steve assures us that he will still be making occasional trips back to Beveree to cheer on Hampton in the years to come.
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What's On...

Events, shows, concerts, sporting occassions - month by month in your area -
What's On
Sept 16-17
Open House London Free Admission Kempton Waterworks, Snakey Lane, Hanworth Visit the Museum for free and marvel at the spectacular 1000-ton engines in this beautiful Art Deco building. Doors open at 10:30am (please note: engine not in steam!) (www.kemptonsteam.org)
Sept 30
Glow in the Park Kempton Park Dance, jog, run or walk your way around a 5km course. Glow zones and music will keep you grooving round the route. Don't forget to wear all your glow kit (www.kempton.co.uk)
Oct 1-7
The Turn of the Screw Hampton Hill Theatre, 90 High Street, Hampton Hill A ghost story by Henry James (www.teddingtontheatreclub.org.uk)
Nov 4 (tbc)
Roundtable Fireworks Kempton Park Fun for all the family (www.kemptonfireworks.org.uk)